First dates are hard enough as it is without the added pressure of choosing where to go and what to do to make that all-important first impression! It's a lot of pressure--but never fear, we are here to help! Sarasota has a plethora of great things to do and places to go on a first date. Use this list of our best first date ideas in Sarasota and make plans with confidence, be yourself and have fun!

Experts agree whatever you choose, pick an idea or location where you feel comfortable, but not a place where everyone knows you. To do so would make your date feel unimportant.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall 

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall plays host to an eclectic variety of artists and performances. From Broadway, world-class orchestras, and the nation's most prestigious comedians and musicians to the finest local performers; the Van Wezel is the perfect destination for your first date. You and your partner will be riveted by the performances, leaving plenty to discuss on the way home! The Van Wezel has over 100 events scheduled this season, so browse the lineup and get your tickets! 

McCurdy's Comedy Theatre 

Complete with a full bar, restaurant, valet parking, and a 4,200 square foot facility to host the best laughs in Sarasota, McCurdy's Comedy Theatre is prepared to keep you and your date laughing all night long. Located on Ringling Boulevard, McCurdy's has been in the business of busting a gut since 1988 so what better way to break first date jitters with loads of laughs? McCurdy's requires you to turn off your phones, a good rule no matter WHAT you choose to do. Always put your phone on Airplane Mode on a first date.

St. Armand's Key

If you're seeking a more casual first date, and one with an OUT, consider heading over to St. Armand's Key for a shopping spree at St. Armand's Circle. With over 100 unique stores and live entertainment, should you run out of exciting things to do at this shopping plaza, you can cut the date shore before dinner. If you are engaged, let your date choose where to dine from any number of world-class restaurants in and near the Circle.

Sarasota Lanes

Another first date classic, bowling will always be go-to for an evening full of fun, quality time and maybe even a little flirty competition! With 36 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, an excellent snack bar, and around six bucks per person, you can't go wrong at Sarasota Lanes! Remember the number one rule of a first date: Focus your intention on having fun above all else, not your nerves, not the details of the date, but on having fun.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Opened in 1939 to this day it remains one of the more unusual and fun first date ideas in Sarasota. Sarasota Jungle Gardens takes you back to Florida days gone by as you stroll the flora and fauna encountering animals and easy conversation along the way. 

Related Article:  Party Like an Animal at Sarasota Jungle Gardens 

Siesta Key Beach

If you're looking for a romantic first date idea in Sarasota, take your date to Siesta Key Beach for a gorgeous sunset. Admire the painted sky while listening to the calming crash of the waves as you walk Siesta Key's quartz-composed sand.  Wear your suits and bring towels and sunscreen for a late afternoon, early evening dip. Put out a blanket and enjoy cheese and crackers, crudite' and sparkling water as you get to know one another.


Just south of Main Street and surrounded by beautiful trees draped in Spanish moss, Indigenous embodies the local creativity. Complete with a stunningly rustic decor, this innovative Sarasota restaurant is dedicated to both food and ambiance--first date heaven!

No matter what you're looking for, Sarasota has the perfect first date spot for everyone! Check out anything on this list to break the ice and impress your date, or register with 941area to connect to more Best First Date Ideas in Sarasota; keep up with events and fun things to do in Sarasota as well as restaurants in Sarasota, sports and more.